The IDF and Shin Bet confirmed the arrest of seven members of an advanced terror cell before they had the opportunity to murder Israeli civilians.
The Shin Bet (internal security agency) and the IDF announced the arrest of seven members of a Hamas-affiliated military squad near the city of Qalqilya (located in Palestinian Authority-run territory) between December 2013 and March 2014.
The detainees, all residents of Qalqilya, include 21-year-old Israeli citizen Khaled Jamal Daoud. The others are: brothers Abd al-Haq Abbas Yusef and Abd al-Rahman Abbas Yusef, 23; Tiger Atta Mohammad, 23; Bakri Khaled Ibrahim Abu Amra , 37; Obi Hashem Abd al-Rahman Salah , 24, and prominent Hamas activist Salih Mustafa Asad Daoud, 30.
They are scheduled to appear in court in the next few days.
An investigation revealed they had dealt in the manufacturing of improvised explosives and were planning to bomb and shoot at Israeli targets in Judea and Samaria as well as within the Green Line.
Terror Cell Members Had Been Released by PA
According to the IDF, some among the group were previously arrested by the Palestinian Authority and subsequently released, although they had seized electrical equipment that was to be used for explosives.
Following interrogation, it was discovered that the terror cell members had manufactured improvised explosives, using agricultural fertilizers, and performed successful experiments. They were also planning to buy weapons from within the Green Line through the Israeli citizen, who had access to obtaining the necessary raw materials from within Israeli-administered areas.
The Hamas activist had agreed to finance the activities of the terror cell and had offered to find new recruits. Suspected of involvement in serious security offenses, he was first arrested in November 2013; following an investigation, which had gathered enough evidence against him for prosecution, including confidential information pointing to the danger of his release, the defense minister ordered administrative detention for a specified period.
According to security sources, the discovery of the terror cell demonstrates – not for the first time – the high motivation of terrorists in PA-administered territories to attack Israeli civilians both in Judea and Samaria and within the Green Line, as well as the recruiting of Israeli citizens by dangerous groups.
By Atara Beck
Staff Writer/Editor, United with Israel